Monday, July 29, 2013


Today, in at least seven US cities, fast food workers walked out of McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and other fast food chains, demanding higher wages and the right to form unions. I feel like joining the picket lines.

The average front-line fast food employee in the US reportedly makes $8.94 an hour. Given the increasing cost of living, that can hardly be considered a “living wage.” Adjusting for inflation, fast-food wages have fallen 36 cents an hour since 2010. Saying they can't live on such meager pay, the workers are demanding $15 an hour.

And don't think that these workers are just teenagers, living at home. The median age of today’s fast-food worker is estimated to be close to 30. Unemployed adults are increasingly taking fast food jobs. Many are trying to support families.

Among other things, these low wages affect the safety of fast food. Underpaid and uninsured fast food workers, cannot afford to take sick leave when they are ill. So what happens? The work while ill and the germs can get into the food. I don't just mean flu viruses, but also Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Norovirus, parasites, and more. There's a whole menu of contaminant options.

McDonalds, Wendy's, Burger King, KFC, and so on, make the profit. The underpaid fast food workers, and we, the consumers, pay the price.

To your good health,